Military Psychiatry in Israel: a 50-Year Perspective
Tel Aviv-Souraski Medical Center and Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
The history of military psychiatry in Israel may be divided into 2 main periods. The first extended from the War of Independence in 1948, through the Sinai, Six Day and Yom Kippur Wars. Its outstanding feature was avoidance of the issue of combat stress reaction (CSR). The Yom Kippur War made the recognition of CSR inescapable, assisted in breaking up denial, and served as a stimulus for development of the next phase of the system.
This second phase was characterized by impressive progress in all areas of military psychiatry. The rich experience accumulated during the wars, together with the assimilation of a research culture which began blooming, especially in the wake of the Lebanon War, aided the development and crystallization of concepts related to combat and non-combat military psychiatry alike. The build-up of the mental health organization overlapped field deployment of the Medical Corps.